Road Cycling News

Tirreno-Adriatico final stage: Nibali takes overall victory

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) has won the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico.

Vincenzo Nibali celebrates overall victory in the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico

The Italian finished ninth on the closing day’s time trial, but took 20 seconds out of previous race leader Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) and 27 seconds of out Roman Kreuziger (Astana) who started the day one place ahead of Niabli in second.

The stage was won in emphatic style by Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek), while Britain’s Ian Stannard (Team Sky) put in a strong performance to finish seventh

Cancellara completed the 9.3km course at San Benedetto del Tronto in 10.36. Daniele Bennati, another rider from the RSN stable, finished second, 12 seconds down on ‘Spartacus’, while Cameron Meyer, the first leader of the race after his GreenEDGE team’s victory in the opening team time trial, was third.

Cancellara said: “It was a tough one, especially when I had in mind my best time from last year. But the conditions today were totally different.  Today we had a tailwind to go out but a full headwind to come back.  I see that I did three seconds slower than last year’s ride but I still think I did a great ride.

“Today was important for me to test my position, to get in another ride on the bike, and I wanted to provide good split times for Chris to compare. I didn’t feel under pressure to win this.  I know where my form is now after 30 hours on the bike and I have a lot of confidence.”

Spartacus followed victory in the Strade Bianche by winning the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico

Horner had led the race since stage four, but was philosophical at conceding the final blue jersey to Nibali. His second place overall capped a remarkable comeback race, his first since recovering from injuries suffered in last year’s Tour De France.

“I have no mixed feelings about this. It’s been a fantastic week. The team did a great TTT to set me up to take the jersey and I defended it for a few days.  Tactically I think we did a brilliant race.  This is not a course that is ideal for me, but to stay on the podium is good for me.  I was concerned that I might not stay in the top three.  The only feeling I have about this is one of feeling great – great about the way the team worked this week and great about the way my legs feel.  After what happened in the Tour last year and to be out of racing for so long, for me there was always a little bit of doubt how I would feel to come back.  I held the jersey for three days.  I’m coming out of this very satisfied.  My form is fantastic and I look forward to the next stage races,” he said.

Team Sky finished the race with just three riders after a promising start that saw them win stages two and three with Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Directeur sportif, Servais Knaven, said: “The goal was to win a stage and have a top-10 on GC with Thomas. But with Thomas getting ill we couldn’t achieve that but we won two stages. We got off to a great start with the TTT and the wins and then finished it off nicely today with Ian. It’s been a positive race for sure.“Everyone has been talking about San Remo all week and that is a big goal for the team. That’s what everybody is looking forward to now and it’s getting closer and closer.”

Discuss in the forum

Tirreno-Adriatico stage seven

1) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) – RadioShack-Nissan-Trek 10:36
2) Daniele Bennati (ITA) – RadioShack-Nissan-Trek +12”
3) Cameron Meyer (AUS) – GreenEdge +16”
4) Svein Tuft (CAN) – GreenEdge
5) Manuele Boaro (ITA) – Team Saxo Bank
6) Hayden Roulston (NZL) – RadioShack-Nissan-Trek +17”
7) Ian Stannard (GBR) – Sky Procycling +18”
8) Peter Velits (SVK) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep +20”
9) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Liquigas-Cannondale
10) Marco Pinotti (ITA)-  BMC Racing Team

Final standings

1) Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  29:38.08
2) Christopher Horner (USA) – RadioShack-Nissan-Trek +14”
3) Roman Kreuziger (CZE) – Astana Pro Team +26”
4) Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) – AG2R La Mondiale +53”
5) Johnny Hoogerland (NED) – Vacansoleil-DCM +1.00
6) Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (SPA) – Katusha Team +1.16
7) Michele Scarponi (ITA) – Lampre – ISD
8) Wout Poels (NED) – Vacansoleil-DCM +1.25
9) Christophe Riblon (FRA) – AG2R La Mondiale +1.31
10) Cameron Meyer (AUS) – GreenEdge +1.33

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